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Archive for Sunday, September 25, 2005

Predator challenging case refuses to take part in ‘treatment’

September 25, 2005

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— One person unlikely to ever get out of the state's sexual predator program, barring a court overturning his commitment, is Robert Ward, 49, of Kansas City, Kan.

Ward is not participating in treatment.

"I am the victim of an illegal campaign by the state of Kansas," he said. "I have been railroaded into a mental institution."

Ward is not in Larned for being a repeat child molester or rapist. In fact, he's never been convicted of a physically violent crime. He received probation in 2002 for making obscene phone calls to teenage girls, committed a probation violation by drinking alcohol, went to prison for one day and was flagged on his way out as a possible sexual predator.

"He's never been accused of touching anyone. His only crime is a crime of words," said his attorney, Bob L. Thomas, of Olathe. "It's hard to believe the Legislature's intent was to indefinitely commit people for words."

Ward called the phone calls a "sick game" he was playing, in which he liked to pretend he was a "bad guy."

His first predator-determination trial in Johnson County ended in a hung jury, and at a second trial he was found to be a predator. He appealed, arguing in part that the prosecutor committed misconduct in the second trial by telling jurors if they didn't find Ward was a predator, Ward would come after their children.

Ward's case is pending before the Kansas Court of Appeals and will be decided in coming months.

Since coming to Larned, Ward has been busy amassing documents in an effort to show the program is corrupt. His file includes a petition signed by 26 residents who say their court-appointed attorneys told them if they agreed to the evaluator's findings and admitted being a predator, they would be released from Larned within 12 to 18 months.

"This is a hospice," he said. "They've sent us here to die."

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